Channel 27 will be holding a Peace Rally and Vigil at 9 PM Friday night, in conjunction with Torri Williams and Moving Marion Forward.
Torri will be hosting a peaceful protest and march earlier that night, starting at 7 PM at Sender Wellness. This group will march to the courthouse, and they will congregate there briefly, before joining the Channel 27 group in front of City Hall.
The groups will converge at City Hall at 9 PM, to stand together in peace and to hold a vigil.
Law Enforcement has agreed to stand with us in peace. So far, the Marion Mayor, the Marion Police Department, and the Gas City Police Department have confirmed they will be there in support.
Please bring candles and face masks, both for yourselves and others.
We will practice social distancing throughout the event.
Here is a statement from Torri Williams about the events:
We will be having a march and peaceful protest on Friday June 5th. We recognize that, in this moment, it’s important to provide a space people can come together to publicly stand against racism and injustice. We have asked the young people who have been faithfully at the Courthouse protesting to come alongside this event.
We will march to the courthouse and gather prior to the Peace Vigil at City Hall. While we are encouraged by our city officials with the Peace Vigil, we understand that everyone may not be in a space to continue onto to the Peace Vigil. In order to honor that, Moving Marion Forward will remain at the Courthouse to provide space for people to protest peacefully. Participants are encouraged to do what is safe and comfortable for them.
Richarh Tyson, creator and CEO of Channel 27 News and Entertainment, also wanted to give a statement about the rally and vigil:
My thought behind the Peace Rally is this: with the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed, I wanted to create an opportunity for our community and law enforcement officers to take a good look at the situation and to take a stance against it, saying we don’t want to face that kind of incident here in Grant County.
Are we going to keep yelling and screaming, the people versus the police? Or do we want to come together, peacefully, and as one unified community? It’s time to try something different. Someone has to extend the proverbial olive branch. Our local law enforcement agreeing to come out in support of our rally is a sign of good faith. I don’t care how much we protest — law enforcement agencies are always going to exist. So, we need to create a peaceful environment that allows for mutual communication. We as a community need to make that effort.
I want to meet peacefully and silently with the community, with law enforcement standing alongside us. Although we will remain silent, our mere presence, standing as one, speaks volumes. There will be time for discussion later. This is the first step in actually building a bridge between the community and law enforcement. We’ll still have a lot more work to do, but we have to start somewhere.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the rally and vigil on Friday night.
Let’s take that first step together.